Beating the Winter Blues: Naturally
Most adults will get at least two colds every year, and children can get up to eight. This is hardly surprising given that there are more than 200 viruses known to cause respiratory tract infections. Although viral illnesses are rarely serious they certainly cause misery and may lower immune defenses against more dangerous secondary bacterial infections.
Fighting viral infections – Colds and 'flu
There are a number of clinically effective Natural Medicines that can be used to help your patients support their immune systems and fight viral infections this winter, including the Ayurvedic herb Andrographis paniculata. Traditional use of Andrographis effectively stimulates immunity and reduces inflammation; used in the acute stages of viral infection, Andrographis has been shown to reduce cold and ‘flu symptoms and shorten the duration of illness.
To enhance these effects, a personalized herbal tonic blends Andrographis with Picrorrhiza kurroa and Sambucus nigra to help relieve symptoms of fever, sore throats and excessive mucous secretions to shorten the duration of colds and 'flu.
Certain mushroom extracts may also help fight off viral infections. Research focused on the immune enhancing effects of Japanese mushrooms finds the extracts from Coriolus versicolor and Grifola frondosa to powerfully boost immune surveillance against viral infection and reduce the risk of secondary bacterial infection. Together these mushroom extracts help prevent and treat viral infections in those with poor immunity.
Nutritionally, zinc and vitamin C are important as they are both rapidly depleted during the acute stages of infection. An acute dosage strategy of up to four doses of Zinc and Vitamin C Powder daily from the first signs and symptoms of a viral infection is recommended to support immunity and prevent depletion.
Narelle Stegehuis, is a practicing medical herbalist and naturopath specializing in restorative endocrinology for women, with over 14 years clinical experience. She is both an accomplished writer, editor and technical training advisor for the Complementary Health Care Council. A recipient of the Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award, Narelle adopts an integrated approach of both medical science and traditional complementary health care principles.